October is Choose Kind month. I found so many great resources online for discussing this book in classrooms with kids. But I wanted to put together some things we did for my book club of “grown-ups.” This was a great book club pick. Don’t pass it up because it’s written for kids. Here’s some things you could do for your next book club featuring Wonder by R. J. Palacio.
Have Everyone Bring Their Own Precept
The English teacher in Wonder teaches the kids about precepts which he describes as rules about really important things. They are kind of like personal life mottos. After the school year is over, he asks kids to send him postcards of their precepts. They can be quotes by famous people or they can be made up by the students themselves. Our book club thought it would be fun for everyone to bring their own precepts.
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Eat Lots of Food
Since we read this in October, the theme for food was All Things Pumpkin. We had these delicious pumpkin steamers and apple rings. Our discussion focused a lot on personal stories like our relationships with our grandparents and our pets since the characters in Wonder are deeply affected by both. Snacking makes it a little easier to share things like that for some reason. Especially comfort food. :)
Have Discussion Questions
I got these discussion questions from About.com. They are geared more towards adult.
- Did you like the way R.J. Palacio told the story from alternating viewpoints? Why or why not?
- If you have kids, did you find yourself feeling parental feelings toward Auggie — anger toward other kids, a sadness that he couldn’t be protected, etc. Which passages evoked the most parental emotions from you?(Example: when Auggie and his mom come home from meeting Jack, Julian and Charlotte before school starts, Auggie tells his mom that Julian said “What’s the deal with your face?” He says, “Mom didn’t say anything. When I looked up at her, I could tell she was completely shocked” (34).
- Which passages reminded you of your own youth?
- Did you think it was realistic that Amos, Miles and Henry would defend Auggie against the bullies from another school?
To see the rest of the questions, be sure to check out this post.
Here are some of the discussion questions that our book club host came up with:
- August’s sister, Olivia, has a special relationship with her grandmother. Her grandmother told her that there are a lot of people looking out for August, but she would always look out for Olivia first. Did you have a special relationship with your grandparents?
- August loves his dog and is heart broken when he dies. Did you have a special pet growing up?
Learn More About Craniofacial Differences
In the back of Wonder, there are a list of websites that help children with craniofacial differences. My favorite site is the Children’s Craniofacial Association. There is a list of syndromes with pictures to help you learn more about people like August from Wonder. There’s a link where you can pledge to Choose Kind and ways you can donate or participate in fund raisers. It’s a great website and I highly recommend you check it out. For book club, you could look through it as a group or you could have members share something they learned from the website. My hope, as I browsed through the site, was when I meet someone with one of these differences, I can respond with more kindness and less surprise.
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you found some fun ideas for your next book club. Don’t forget to pin it for later!